FAQs about the Intensive English Program

Q: What is the Intensive English Program?
A: The Intensive English Program (IEP) is a full-time program of English instruction for international students or U.S. residents who wish to improve their English. The IEP prepares students for university level academic work in English. The program is also appropriate for those who wish to improve their English for professional, business or personal reasons.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: Please see the "Program Costs" page, under the "Intensive English Program" tab.

Q: Do I have to study full time?
A: The Intensive English Program (IEP) is a full-time program of English instruction. If you hold a U.S. immigration status that requires full-time enrollment, you must attend 20 hours of study per week.

Q: How many students do you have in each class?
A: On average, there are 12 to 15 students in a class. The students are from many different nations.

Q: When do classes meet?
A: Classes meet Monday through Friday, and are held between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Class times are subject to change. There are 80 hours of instruction every month.

Q: What are the teachers' qualifications?
A: All the teachers are qualified with a Master's degree in ESL or a related field and have many years of experience in teaching English as a Second Language. Some teachers have lived and taught English overseas.

Q: Can I use university facilities, such as the library and the sports center?
A: Of course! The IEP is part of UWM and is located on the campus. Every IEP student is issued a university student ID card and can use all the facilities available to students, such as the Norris Health Center, Klotsche Sports Center, Library, computer centers and wireless access, and university email. There is also a free shuttle service, called BOSS, available in the evenings for students going to destinations near the university. IEP students, like other UWM students, can get a Milwaukee Country Transit System bus pass, UPASS, during the UWM academic sessions. Access to these services and facilities is covered by the university fee.

Q: When can I start?
A: New students can join the program in the first three months of Spring and Fall Semesters. In the Summer Session, new students are accepted month one and two. We do not accept student in month four of any semester.

Q: Can you help me to get a student visa?
A: The IEP will issue an I-20 for a prospective student who submits a completed and signed application, provides a financial statement and pays the required deposit. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the student's home country will examine the I-20 as part of the application for a U.S. visa. The student should be able to clearly explain why he or she is coming to the U.S. to study English and how English will be useful when the student returns to his or her home country.

Q: Are there computer labs available to ESL students?
A: Yes, there are computer stations, labs and wireless service available throughout the UWM campus. IEP students have their own UWM email account and can easily access the Internet.

Q: What is the standardized English test requirement for admission to UW-Milwaukee?
A: UWM accepts both TOEFL and IELTS scores.

English Proficiency Requirements














The Center for International Education can provide complete information on international admissions.


ESL to UWM: Students who complete one full semester of the most advanced level (B2) of the Intensive English Program in good standing (with a grade of B- or better) meet the English proficiency requirement for admission to undergraduate study.

English Language Proficiency Required for Undergraduate Graduate Study

You can be admitted to UWM if you do not meet the minimum English proficiency requirements.

Undergraduate Conditional Admission: If you received a TOEFL score of less than 497 (paper-based)/ 60 (internet-based) or an IELTS score below 4.9, you can be conditionally admitted to UWM, but you will be required to satisfy one of the following requirements prior to becoming eligible to enroll in academic courses:

  1. Submit a TOEFL score of 520 (paper-based) or 68 (internet-based) or better; or an IELTS score of 5.5 or better.
  2. Successful completion of one semester of full-time study of the UWM Intensive English Program Immersion class with a grade of B- or higher.

Undergraduate Dual Admission: If you received a TOEFL score between 500-519 (paper-based) or 61-67 (internet-based); or an IELTS score of 5.0, you will be admitted to UWM, and will be allowed to register for part-time academic courses (maximum of six credits). You must also enroll part-time in the Intensive English Program (non-credit) until you demonstrate your English language proficiency by submitting a TOEFL score of 520 or 68, or an IELTS score of 5.5.


If you do not meet the minimum English proficiency requirements, you may be granted dual admission.

Graduate Dual Admission: If you have submitted a TOEFL score between 520 and 549 (paper-based), 68-78 (Internet-based) or an IELTS score between 6 and 6.5, you will be eligible to enroll in six credits of academic coursework and you will also be required to enroll in an ESL course (credit or non-credit). You must demonstrate your English language proficiency by submitting a TOEFL score of 550 or 79, or an IELTS score of 6.5, within three semesters of initial enrollment at UWM.

For complete information on English proficiency for admission for graduate study, visit the Center for International Education's Graduate Application Requirements for international applicants.

Where can I get more information about the Intensive English Program?

Contact the ESL Programs Office by email: esl@uwm.edu; telephone: +1-414-229-5757; or fax: +1-414-229-6258.

Taiwan Flag"The ESL program provides me many creative and interesting courses. In here, not only can I improve my English ability but I can also know more about American culture and society."
- Shihyun Peng, Taiwan